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natural mother magazine

4TH ANNUAL PREGNANCY & BIRTH ISSUE Healing Birth Trauma Through Yoga Preparing a Natural Birth and Postpartum Kit Big List of Pregnancy Books

Issue 24, September 2016


contents articles Healing Birth Trauma Through Yoga Accounting for Sleep: Making Healthful Deposits Preparing a Natural Birth and Postpartum Kit Big List of Pregnancy Books It’s Your Pregnancy, You’re in Charge The Birth of Dahlia: A Photo Essay Fancy French or Rugged Hobo Dinners Researchers Induced Autoimmune Disease in Mice with... DIY MileSTONES to Track Baby’s Growth

12 20 24 32 56 50 60 74 80

extras Letter from the Publisher Fear is not Your Friend Contributors Letter from the Editor Editor’s Picks


4 6 8 10 18


COPY EDITOR Ingrid Sorensen




Sandra Maurer Kimberly Lindsay, IBCLC Saidy Lauer Corneglio Holly Scudero Dr. Jen Schwartz. PhD, CFLE Shelby Clowers Amy Christensen Guggie Daly Dana Vanderburg


Ginger Horsburgh Earthside Birth Photography



Information contained herein is not intended to replace professional medical or legal counsel. This publication may contain affiliate links and/or paid content. © 2016 All rights reserved NATURAL MOTHER MAGAZINE | 3

letter from the Publisher There is so much information to take that you are sure to find informative into consideration when making de- and helpful. The potential for article cisions for your pregnancy and birth. topics is endless when it comes to pregnancy and birth, which is why Hopital, home, or birth center? Mid- we decided to dedicate an entire wife or OB? This test or that, ultra- issue every year to them. sound or not? Vaccines or pass? I cherish my pregnancies. I have And that’s not even touching all of three amazing kids, and felt betthe decisions you’ll have to make for ter while pregnant than not. I was your baby, your home, your other healthy, rested, glowing, and full of children, spouse... the list truly is end- energy. Which is not the case for most women, for sure. less. Here we have our 4th Annual Pregnancy & Birth Issue. This baby of mine is already 4 years old. I encourage you to read our three previous pregnancy issues for many more articles

All of us at Natural Mother Magazine hope you enjoy this issue, your pregnancy, and that your birth leaves you feeling strong, incredible, and capable. Being able to carry those emotions over into your motherhood is an essential part of the process of becoming a mother. May you find support in the women around you, your friends and family. Have the strength to set healthy boundaries without the worry of hurting their feelings, and have the help you need to make it through that fourth trimester. Warmly, Jessika Jacob Publisher


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fear is not your friend Birth should be an empowering and transformative experience. However, anxiety and fear about birth, our birthing team, or the birth setting can create major hurdles for expectant mothers. Adrenaline-pumping, heart-racing, skin-tingling fear can be a vital emotion when we are in danger and inspire us to quick and effective action or escape. But in the natural birthing process, fear is not your friend. Humans (as well as other mammals) who are nervous, anxious, or fearful will physically slow or even stop labor and the natural birthing process. Mom’s physiological stress response can also impact her baby. “When a baby is made more fragile before being born through the stress hormones released by its mother, it is possible that the risks of fetal distress during


labour are increased, ” according to French obstetrician Michel Odent (The Farmer and the Obsterician, 2002). A sense of uncertainly, a lack of decision-making power, or even a loss of confidence can feed fear and spell trouble for birthing mamas. Fear can also heighten our senses – including our awareness of pain – and escalate our challenges during childbirth. Many birthing centers and hospitals have made great strides in creating calmer environments for moms to labor and birth in, and finding the location that instills the most confidence and least anxiety is essential for every mom. Calm, quiet, privacy, a strong support network, awareness and education, self-confidence, and mindfulness are all tools that can help to overcome fear during childbirth. Culturally, we need to revive the ancient wisdom of women regarding birth, the sacred knowledge and confidence of our bodies that should be passed on from generation to generation. The over-medicalization of birth has planted many seeds from which fear now grows. I hope this issue helps in the sowing of fearlessness for many mamas and moves us closer to empowered birthing! Nancy Peplinsky Founder - Holistic Moms Network


Issue 23 Contributors Sandra Maurer is a mama wellness coach, certified birth doula and registered yoga instructor specializing in Fertility and Prenatal Yoga with a BA in Art Therapy. Her passion is empowering women through all stages of mamahood, from preconception through postpartum, by guiding the whole woman. She blogs at Whole Beginnings. Kimberly Lindsay, IBCLC is a homeschooling mom to three little rascals, a Relationship Coach, and IBCLC. Her passion is educating parents about normal newborn sleep behaviors and supporting families in their nighttime needs through co-designing sleep plans for each family. And it’s all done without using cry-it-out sleep methods. Her website is One World Wellness. Saidy Lauer Corneglio is an herbalist, photographer and journalist living the expat life in the Netherlands with her husband and two daughters. She is passionate about holistic healthcare, natural living, photojournalism and traveling around this beautiful world learning from the people and cultures she connects with. Holly Scudero is a full-time at-home mama and wife. She has one child, but hopes to have more someday, and her passions include natural parenting, birth, reading, writing, vegetarian cooking, and being active. She blogs about whatever is on her mind at Leaves of Lavender.


Dr. Jen Schwartz. PhD, CFLE, recently completed a dissertation entitled “Childbirth as a Profound Experience: Exploring Narrative and Image of Experiences During Birth.” Jen is the founder of Sego Lily School, Utah’s only school for self-directed learning in a working democracy. She works as a Family Life Educator, working with individuals, couples, and families to support them through all stages of family life. Amy Christensen spent 12 years as a wedding planner and caterer, and 15 years in the natural food industry as a marketing director. She teaches cooking classes and seminars for children and adults, and opened a food co-op. She now shares her love of all things food as a chef instructor at the Salt Lake Culinary Center, teaching cooking classes to kids, teens, and adults. Guggie Daly, blogger at The Guggie Daily, applied her background in neuroscience to the parenting realm. She incorporates evidence-based concepts in epigenetics and nutrigenomics with the latest parenting research so that parents can develop integrated, holistic health in their own families. She is married to a passionate environmentalist and is a mother to four. Dana Vanderburg is a wife, mama, and owner of The Art Kit, where she blogs about all things crafty. Before obtaining her degree in digital media design, she studied interior design, home redesign, and home staging, all things she is still passionate about, along with natural living and family. You can find her blog at NATURAL MOTHER MAGAZINE | 9

letter from the editor Dear friends, I have spent almost 80 months of my life pregnant (that’s about 6 and a half years) and I’ve given birth 9 times. Does this make me an expert? Maybe. But only in MY pregnancies and births. We are all so different. Every mother, every pregnancy, every birth, and every baby: unique. Even having had so many of my own experiences, each is unique. None of my 9 children are alike. Each is a complete individual and each is helping me grow and learn in their individual ways. And lucky me, I get to know and love 9 new special and

individual friends on this planet. Such is motherhood. As we each make our way on our own mothering journeys, we must remember both that as moms, we are all so different from each other, and must always look to others with compassion and not judgment. How can I judge any mother whose shoes I have not walked in? And yet, being different, we share so much: that intense bond that only a mother knows, and can never describe to one who is not yet a mother; the overpowering protective influence we instantly have over our babies.... It’s inexpressible. We are all on our own paths through motherhood and life, and yet, sometimes it is the same path, and we share together the ups and downs and hopes and heartaches and failures and successes. We hope you enjoy this issue. The list of pregnancy books alone is worth opening this issue for. (Although we think you’ll like the rest of it too.) Happy mothering! Ingrid Sorensen Editor




Healing Birth Trauma Through Yoga by Sandra Maurer

“I hadn’t ever thought to thank my of that. My journey started when I body before” she said wiping a tear was a teenager, attempting to cure myself of chronic digestion and deand rolling up her mat. I got chills. pression issues that my doctors were That’s the moment, the holy grail I unable to manage. And it worked really well. It wasn’t my only method shoot for every day. of relief but it was the biggest. The This pregnant yoga client of mine happiest side effect I found was feelwas in her twenty-something week of ing empowered. It took a few years, pregnancy. Her previous pregnancy but slowly, my practice, along with had ended with stillbirth at 37 weeks my faith, began to chip away at just 9 short months before. This wom- years of self hate and self doubt, of an was brave and bright. You could body shame and eating habits that see the optimism on her face and reflected it. This gift has been the the fear in her posture. When she left greatest pleasure to share with my our session that day she looked visi- clients. bly lighter. I feel so humbled by that. So grateful to participate in that. So When I became a doula I was able to help women apply this to pregexcited that I can call it a “job.” nancy and birth. I have enjoyed, I’ve been practicing yoga for 15 and still enjoy, helping women use years and teaching it for about half yoga and meditation as a path to NATURAL MOTHER MAGAZINE | 13

healing so that they are more likely to get pregnant, have an amazing birth, and restore hormonal wellness postpartum. More recently it’s been my honor to introduce a yoga and meditation practice to help mamas deal with trauma and loss.

them into unconsciousness, so that you do not notice that which is more than you can cope with. You forget or become unaware. This is what.... their nervous systems naturally tend to do.”

If this goes on too long however, Yoga for Trauma? it can cause us problems. We feel stuck, repeating negative patterns. In Yoga for Emotional Trauma the The disconnect always leads to disauthor tells us that trauma has a cord. disconnecting effect. As a coping mechanism we disconnect from our “I’ve never felt so connected to my bodies, from the memory of what body,” one mama with a similar stooccurred. ry told me. A regular yoga practice, combined with yoga nidra, or medi“Emotions, when you are able to tation to take you in and out of your experience them moving through body, can help to bridge this gap you, let you feel fully human. You are safely. A skilled yoga teacher will be probably more familiar with some able to create a safe space, using emotions than others. Often this is healing words or even touch (with the case, especially in the afetrmath certain students) to deepen the exof trauma, when fear, anger, confu- perience of getting in touch with sion, and sadness are intense and/ their body, and finding ways to love or long lasting. When one or two it bravely, even if you feel it has beemotions are strong you may be less trayed you. able to experience a full range of emotions, espeically ones that are How can you practie yoga with an subtle and sweet. Healing involves aim at healing from trauma? learning to let emotions move on through and experiencing many 1. Rub in kindness. emotions, including delight....It’s like One great way to be kind to your my mind and body are humming body is to ask yourself what you need together, taking in the perfection of to remember, what you need to hear. the moment....When the bodily sen- Then beginning with your scalp and sations associated with emotions are temples, silently or out loud, repeat unbearable, it is adpative to push those words as you “rub them in.” 14| NATURAL MOTHER MAGAZINE

Move down to shoulders, arms, and continue to move down the body as you repeat this. An example could be “I love my body,” “Thank you,” “I receive love,” “I am strong,” “I have what I need.” 2. Meta prayer. This practice can be done many times. There’s been some evidence that compassionate meditation can actually change and improve the function of the anterior cingulate cortex (which helps our brain regulate the flight or fight response). Repeat with different recipients. I like to have clients say this to their younger self, their future self, and then choose another to offer compassion to. Recite: ­ ay I be peaceful M ­May I be happy ­May I be safe ­May I awaken to the light of my true nature. 3. Restore Most of us practice faster paced yoga, but there are a wide variety of yoga practices, and different styles can benefit different aspects of emotional health and physical well being. A restorative practice can be challenging for those of us that are quick­ -thinking and drawn to faster paced activities, however it could be just the thing you need. Restor-

ative classes offer lots of supported asanas (postures) that help one to feel safe to release. 4. Affirm. Never underestimate the power of our self talk. If we follow the yoga principle ahisma, we strive to practice nonviolence towards our self and others. Often the first line of violence begins with negative self talk, especially in siutations where trauma has occurred. Self­blame is a common response. Mamas who have suffered a traumatic birth or loss often feel a great deal of shame accompanied by thoughts like “I should have....” Writing down those negative “shoulds” with positive affirmations and then meditating on them after a yoga nidra meditation to relax the body (also called “sleeping yoga”) can help to retrain our thinking: “I am grateful. I am strong. I am able. I am empowered. I am whole. I am able to love and receive love. I make the best choices for me and my family. I am not responsible for everything that happens to me. I cannot change the past but I can affect my future, etc.” 5. Focus on the hips and heart. As women, we tend to hold a lot of emotions in our hips. One of my teachers calls the hips the “drunk drawer” of the body. Especially for pregnant or women who have birthed, this NATURAL MOTHER MAGAZINE | 15

area of the body can be tight and overburdened. Gentle hip openers with support help us to access these emotions. More than once I’ve had women tear up in a deep hip opener like Pigeon pose (eka pada raja kapotasana) or malasana (garland pose or squat). Heart opening poses can also help us access our courage and increase our capacity for self love and the ability to receive love. It’s especially important to support these poses with props as they can feel very vulnerable for women who are processing heavy loss. Some poses are reclined bound angle (supta bada konasana), Heart opening pose (anahatasana), Fish pose with bol-


ster (matsyasana). Whatever you choose, remember that healing comes in waves. As you or your students or clients begin to heal, layers of awareness, grief and relief will appear. Holding safe space for them (or finding a safe space for yourself) is the key to moving through these challenging times with grace and freedom. Every moment matters and each feeling we have deserves to be honored as we become mothers for the first time or again. Remember that you are supported by all the mothers that have gone before you and that surround you as you bravely forge ahead on your unique motherhood journey.


editor’s picks Down Dog Down Dog offers guided practice for those who want or need assistance with creating their own sequences. It is completely customizable: users pick a sequence type (beginner, intermediate, advanced, or two levels of restorative), a pace (normal, slow, or fast), a music playlist, and length (anywhere from 15 to 80 minutes), and then get on the mat. The basic version of the app is free, and includes a number of different options, but a paid membership is required to get most of the music types and some of the different sequence types. There is a large degree of randomization involved in these generated sequences; there are a wide variety of poses and stretches included, and every sequence is always balanced between right and left sides, but there are definitely awkward transitions sometimes as well. Users who have previous experience with yoga classes will benefit most from Down Dog; the bodily cues are fantastic, but there truly is no substitute for working with a teacher to make sure you’re doing each pose appropriately.

Essential Oils for Healing by Vannoy Gentles Fite Essential oils have been thrust into the spotlight in recent years, and more and more people are starting to recognize their therapeutic and medicinal uses. But those specialized blends from the big companies can be pretty pricey, and some might be interested in learning more about the specific uses of individual oils so that they can make their own blends. A book like Essential Oils for Healing, compiled by Vannoy Gentles Fite from decades of experience, is a great starting place for both newbies and those who just want more in-depth information. This guide is simply packed with information: general uses for more than one hundred different oils, contraindications, and tons of recipes that readers can get started with right away. This book encourages discovery and experimentation, so that readers can ultimately develop blends that work best for them.


Positive Parenting: An Essential Guide by Rebecca Eanes Positive, gentle parenting is being talked about a lot these days, but many people simply have no idea how to get started. Author Rebecca Eanes (http://www.positive-parents. org/p/about-me.html) takes a relatively novel approach in Positive Parenting: An Essential Guide. This relatively slim book covers the tenets of a positive style of parenting but also offers a multitude of exercises for parents, which aim to help readers recognize their personal triggers, events from their own childhood that may have unknowingly shaped them, and less-desirable parenting practices they may unconsciously practice now. The result is that readers get a better idea of who they are as a parent and that they can get on the same page, as it were, with their spouse and any other adults who play a big part in their child’s upbringing. Eanes also spends time discussing how a child’s brain grows and matures, which will help readers to better understand why they sometimes act as they do and why it’s so important (and effective) for us to gently guide them toward more desirable behavior. This book is a fantastic starting guide for those who want to adopt this kind of parenting style, and it’s one readers are guaranteed to revisit repeatedly over the years.



Accounting for Sleep: Making Healthful Deposits by Kimberly Lindsay, IBCLC

You are mothering through breastfeeding and that means you are meeting your baby’s needs 24-hours a day, and yep, at night too.

tective measure against SIDS. Your breathing near them helps keep their vital signs stable and responsive and yes, aroused more easily. This is important because we want them to Let me first address that your baby be able to wake up between sleep does NOT have a sleep problem. cycles. And of course, night nursing “Problem” was actually put on new supports a healthy milk supply. mothers by the faulty statement, “sleeping like a baby.” Your baby’s Even though your baby does not biological norm is filled with night have a sleep problem, like many in waking. Yes some babies seem to the western culture would lead you sleep straight through the night on to believe, their normal biological their own from day one. They are sleep may leave you in a serious NOT the norm! There’s nothing wrong sleep debt. with your baby and here’s why. You’re not alone. Sleep debt cycles The noise and motion that your baby are common in new parenthood. is stimulated by at night is a pro- The good thing is that there are ways NATURAL MOTHER MAGAZINE | 21

to support your sleep and still meet your little one’s nighttime needs. I’m sure you’ve heard of some of the more common ways such as, eliminating screen time an hour before bed, dimming the overhead lights before bed to assist with your melatonin release, to exercise early in the day, limit caffeine use, and not drink alcohol close to bed time. You might find these things quite simple or you might say, “Ok, but how will I get my ‘me time’?” A common nighttime routine for many moms is to get that ‘me time’ squished in after baby nurses down to sleep and before they wake up for their first night nursing. You might pour a glass of wine to relax, watch some TV, take a bath, or read a book, maybe talk to a girlfriend on the phone. All of that is great if it doesn’t dip into your sleep bank account.

protecting our own sleep needs in the hope of finding and reconnecting with “me time,” we push right up against the boundary of our sleep debt and edge into an overdraft. I have three young kids. Believe me, I get it. I know how vital “me time” and quiet relaxation is to our health and sanity. We crave time to just be “us” again without our baby and/or our big kids crawling on us. We want to reconnect with our partner, to shed the stress, busyness, and possibly guilt, that has built up during the day. We want to recoup before the nighttime needs of our baby have us snuggling and attached at the breast for what might seem like most of the night. But when you’re slugging through life with an overdrafted sleep account, your “me time” is meaningless because at that point you are not living the “you” that you want to be. I’m going to give you an alternative to the traditional evening routine that can tap into that needed recuperation, as well as support sleep induction.

* Note that while alcohol can help us relax it can also impede deep sleep. Therefore, if you find yourself waking up a lot through the night or if you wake up groggy in the morning, you After dinner (hopefully you’ve had know you need to adjust your eve- some melatonin-influencing foods) ning routine. have your partner get your little one ready for bed while you head out Of course, we need our “me time,” the door. I’m not talking about an but to feel like “us” we also need to energetic cardio workout, just a stroll sleep. Often times those two val- around the block or quiet time in ues can butt up against each oth- your yard. If you don’t have the super, causing discord. When we stop port at home with your little one, it is 22| NATURAL MOTHER MAGAZINE

okay to take them with you. We know that nature can help relax our mind and body and doing so under the moonlight can support your body with melatonin release, a natural part of circadian rhythms. In this space, take nice deep in-breaths and out-breaths. Release all the struggle, all the guilt, all of the tiredness, anything that does not support you and that is keeping your brain wired. As you inhale peace, see how you want your night to go and feel. Tell yourself, “This may be tough right now, but I am a good mom. I’ve got this. We may not be sleeping through the night right now, but I am providing my child everything that they need.” This will give your body time to digest dinner, bring in the needed melatonin for sleep, and calm your mind. As you make your way back inside you are relaxed, with supportive sleep inducers, and ready to snuggle your baby in a dimly lit room. Then when your baby drifts off to dreamland you can drift off as well. I know that the to-do list is long. There is laundry piled high and there might be dishes in the sink. Remember, this time with your baby is a short season in the span of life. The to-do’s can wait. The most important thing is that while

you’re meeting your baby’s needs you’re taking care of you too, even taking extra special care of yourself if you feel depleted. It is imperative that you protect your sleep cycle just like you protect your baby’s. Then, after you make some sleep deposits and are in the black again, addressing everything else is much easier. You are a great mom and a great person. The balance of doing-it-all is hard. And with support and attunement to your body’s needs I believe you can find your “me time,” meet your baby’s needs, and sleep too.

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photo credit | Earthside Birth Photography 24| NATURAL MOTHER MAGAZINE

Preparing a Natural Birth and Postpartum Kit by Saidy Lauer Corneglio

As I approach the 39th week of pregnancy, I can assure you that the infamous “nesting” phase is in full force. Between bouts of Braxton-Hicks contractions and going to the bathroom to pee every five minutes, I’ve been scurrying to assemble my birth and postpartum kit. These final days before the birth of a child can certainly feel chaotic. But, it is also arguably one of the most exciting times we experience as mothers: planning and preparing for the new life we are already so devoted to. In this article, I’m going to share with you as a mother, and an herbalist, what I will be assembling for my upcoming birth. As this is my third time around, I feel confident that I know

what I need to have on hand during childbirth and the immediate postpartum period to have the most relaxing and comfortable experience. This will be my second home birth and, having had my firstborn in a hospital, I can assure you that the necessities are the same no matter where you give birth. THE BIRTH Copies of your Birth Plan should be available for anyone attending your birth. The last thing you want to be doing during transition, is answering administrative questions. If you have a few copies of your birth plan available, anyone will be able to consult that first, before bothering you during NATURAL MOTHER MAGAZINE | 25

the birth. Birth Comfort Tools

•Tea lights or candles •Birth affirmation cards Comfortable Clothing

These “tools” are essentials for your physical comfort, as well as aiding in the progression of labor. Hydrotherapy, applied heat, and counter-pressure are a laboring woman’s best friends. The most effective tools I’ve found are:

During childbirth, you may experience a variety of hot and cold sensations, so just make sure you have layers of clothing and blankets on hand to keep you as comfortable as possible. These will be important both during and after your birthing •Birth tub and/or clean bathtub and time: shower (hydrotherapy) •Robe •Birth ball (for opening the pelvis and •Warm socks leaning against) •Layers of clothes •Tennis balls or massage balls (for •Blankets and towels counter-pressure) •Lip balm •Hot water bottle (for lower back or abdominal relaxation) Food and Drink Relaxing Ambiance The place where you labor and give birth should be as relaxing as possible. I’ve found that a dark room, with familiar comforting items, helps set the mood and allows me to enjoy deep relaxation and focus on bringing my baby into the world calmly and comfortably. My relaxation tools include:

Staying hydrated is especially important during and after labor. Make sure you’re drinking nutritious liquids such as Raspberry Leaf Tea or Coconut Water throughout your birthing time.

Many women, myself included, find that once active labor begins, they’re in no mood for food. However, it is wise to eat healthy snacks (fruits and vegetables, berries, dates, •Diffuser with lavender (or other fa- nuts and seeds, yogurt or cheese, vorite) essential oil for relaxing aro- raw honey, and soups) during earmatherapy ly labor to insure you have enough •iPod with favorite music or birth af- energy for the task ahead. It’s also firmations nice to have food available for your 26| NATURAL MOTHER MAGAZINE


partner, doula, midwives, or any oth- bleeding, swelling and bruising. Take er support person who is attending one dose when labor begins and the birth of your baby. another during labor just before delivery. You can continue to take one Natural Remedies dose three times a day for three days after the birth of the baby. Mother Nature provides a banquet of pain relief options for the laboring POSTPARTUM mother. Recipes for Postpartum Mother Care •Ginger (tincture, tea, or chews) is excellent for nausea prevention and These are my absolute must-have treatment during pregnancy and la- personal-care items for immediately bor. after the birth. They are all very simple to make at home and contain • Skullcap and/or St. John’s Wort ingredients you may already have in tincture: eases labor pains and your kitchen. headaches; relaxes the nervous system. You can use these herbs inde- “Padsicles” pendently with good results, but they work better in conjunction. Take 5-10 These frozen pads are wonderfully drops of each at the beginning of la- soothing and speed-up the recovery bor and every few hours as needed. of your perineum and the surrounding area. •Motherwort Tincture: as close to a “cure-all” as it gets with childbirth Ingredients: and postpartum issues. Motherwort can be used for regulating blood Cotton pads (preferably overnight pressure, easing labor and postpar- or heavy flow sized and organic) tum pains, relaxation, and promo- ½ cup Witch Hazel Extract tion of efficient uterine contractions. 1 T. Aloe Vera Gel 1 T. Arnica oil or gel •Arnica homeopathic tablets (30c): 1 t. Vitamin E oil can be taken both during labor and 5-10 drops each of Lavender, pepafterwards to ease the bruising and permint and frankincense essential stretching of tissues that accompa- oils nies childbirth. Arnica also quickens Aluminum foil postpartum recovery and lessens Freezer bags 28| NATURAL MOTHER MAGAZINE

Directions: Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and apply 1-2 teaspoons of the mixture on to each pad with a small spoon. Wrap each pad in aluminum foil and place in a freezer bag, and then put in the freezer. When you’re ready to use one, allow it to thaw for a couple minutes before inserting it into your underwear. Healing Herbal Bath Blend An enjoyable and relaxing method for healing your perineum and birthing muscles is by soaking in an herbal bath. You can use this formula for a full-body bath or a smaller sitz bath. Don’t worry if you don’t have every herb listed--use the ones you do have. Ingredients: ½ cup each of calendula, chamomile, rose petals and lavender ¼ cup each of plantain leaves, comfrey, yarrow, and witch hazel leaves ½ cup Epsom Salts (optional) 1 glass jar (or a freezer bag) Directions: Place all the herbs in the glass jar, mix, and store in a cupboard. When you’re ready to make a sitz bath: add 1 cup of herbs to 2 quarts of boiling NATURAL MOTHER MAGAZINE | 29

water. Remove water from heat and let sit for 20 minutes. Strain and add to a bath along with Epsom salts, and soak for 15-20 minutes. If you’re enjoying a full body bath, you can double or even triple the amount. Mom and baby can enjoy soaking together to speed umbilical cord and perineum healing. You can also add this to a Peri Bottle for use during and after urination. Mother’s Herbal Tea Blend

Directions: Place all the herbs in the glass jar and store in a cupboard. For each liter of water you boil add 1/4 cup of herbs to infuse. Bring water to a low boil and add the herbs. Turn off the heat and allow the herbs to infuse for 20 minutes or more. Strain and enjoy hot or cold. Perineum Healing Spritz

This is a remedy that can be applied This delightful blend not only ensures quickly, and instantly soothes a sore your milk will be plentiful, but also perineum. It relieves pain and hasvery nourishing. These herbs and ar- tens recovery. omatic seeds are full of vitamins and trace minerals, and they act as di- Ingredients: gestive aids for you and for the newborn’s delicate gastrointestinal sys- 3 ounces witch hazel extract tem. Enjoy a cup before a nursing 1 T. Aloe Vera session. The medicinal benefits will 1 T. Rose Water be transmitted to your baby through 1 T. arnica gel/oil your breast milk. I like to make this 1 t. Vitamin E oil tea 1 liter at a time, that way I al- 5-10 drops each of lavender, ways have some in the fridge, ready peppermint and frankincense to drink. essential oils 1- 4-ounce spray bottle Ingredients: Directions: 1 cup red raspberry leaf 1 cup nettles Place all ingredients in a jar, mix, and ½ cup blessed thistle pour into the spray bottle. Store in 3 T. each of anise and/or fennel the refrigerator, to keep it nice and seeds, fenugreek seeds, and rose- cool. hips 1 glass jar (or freezer bag) Spray on your perineum and sur30| NATURAL MOTHER MAGAZINE

rounding area liberally, any time you need soothing relief. Conveniences and Comforts These are my favorite creature comforts for the postpartum recovery time. In the final weeks before birth you can put that nesting energy to good use by stocking up on these items. No special recipes here, this is just a collection of comforts that will make those first weeks with a new baby easier and less messy. •Freezer stash of healthy meals •Ice packs (for engorged breasts and perineum) •Cotton nursing pads (lots of leakage the first few weeks) •Nursing bras/tops •Nursing Pillow •Cotton swabs (for umbilical care) •Peri bottle (especially for use during urination) •LOTS of receiving blankets (for swaddling, spit ups, blow-outs, and leaking milk) Giving birth naturally is certainly within your reach. It’s not for the faint of heart, but it isn’t something to be frightened of either. With a little preparation and a strong, positive mindset, you can and will give birth in comfort, relaxation, and peace of mind. You’re going to have a wonderful birth! NATURAL MOTHER MAGAZINE | 31




So you’re expecting a baby, or perhaps a close friend or family member is. Congratulations! You know you need to start doing some research, but where do you start? The baby section at your local bookstore contains a wide variety of pregnancy books, the library has an interesting mix, and a search on Amazon will reveal more options than you could possibly read over the next few months. The truth is that some pregnancy books are better than others. And the kinds of books you read will shape how you view your pregnancy and how you plan for your birth. A good book can be the difference between calling your obstetrician for every little twinge and having productive, comforting conversations with your care provider on how to safely deal with discomforts. A good book can be the difference between having strategies to achieve a natural birth and asking for an epidural the moment you arrive at the hospital. A good book can help you make the best decisions for your newborn and get off on the right foot with breastfeeding. But which ones are the good ones? We’ve compiled a list of the best books we could find, covering a wide range of pregnancies and birth


plans. Ideally, you’ll be able to find at least some of these at your local library or on the shelves of your closest bookstore, and the Internet can always help if necessary. You CAN have a fantastic, empowering birth, and learning more about the entire process is the first step! COMPLETE GUIDES Every expecting mama needs a good all-purpose guide! These ones cover all of the essentials: preconception considerations; self-care and what to expect during the months of pregnancy; stages of labor and how to cope; birth itself; and the immediate postpartum pe-

riod. Better yet, these books provide solid information without the anxiety-inducing and “doctor knows best” mentality of some of the more mainstream choices.

The Kind Mama Alicia Silverstone

The Birth Book William Sears, Martha Sears

Natural Pregnancy Lauren Feder

Birth With Confidence Rhea Dempsey

The Official Lamaze Guide Judith Lothian, Charlotte DeVries

The Natural Pregnancy Book Aviva Jill Romm

The Complete Book of Pregnancy Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newand Childbirth born: The Complete Guide Sheila Kitzinger Penny Simkin The Healthy Pregnancy Book William Sears, Martha Sears, Linda Holt, BJ Snell

The Simple Guide to Having a Baby Janet Whalley, Penny Simkin, Anne Keppler, Janelle Durham NATURAL BIRTH For many women, an unmedicated birth—often referred to as a natural birth—is the goal. The good news is that with the right information and support, that goal is very attainable! These books will help provide both. Active Birth Janet Balaskas An Easier Childbirth Gayle Peterson Birthing a Better Way Kalena Cook, Margaret Christensen


Orgasmic Birth Elizabeth Davis, Debra Pascali-Bonaro Spiritual Midwifery Ina May Gaskin The Waterbirth Book Janet Balaskas Your Best Birth Ricki Lake, Abby Epstein HOME BIRTH There are many reasons that women choose to give birth at home. While many aspects of home birth are covered in other guides, some women find it beneficial to have a book with a specific focus on that area.

Childbirth Without Fear Grantly Dick-Read Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering Sarah Buckley Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth Ina May Gaskin

Birth Your Way Sheila Kitzinger The Essential Home Birth Guide Jane E. Drichta, Jodilyn Owen Homebirth: The Essential Guide to Giving Birth Outside of the Hospital Sheila Kitzinger

Natural Birth: A Holistic Guide to Preg- How Big is a Placenta Bowl? nancy, Childbirth and Breastfeeding Renee Moilanen Kristina Turner


HOSPITAL BIRTH While the percentage of births occurring in birth centers and at home is growing every year, the truth is that most births still take place in a hospital. It is important for women to be informed about hospital procedures and to have knowledge about how to navigate the process on their own terms. Gentle Birth Choices Barbara Harper Natural Hospital Birth Cynthia Gabriel

Optimal Care in Childbirth Henci Goer, Amy Romano The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth Henci Goer CESAREAN BIRTH For most, giving birth via cesarean is not the ideal. Nevertheless, it is a reality for many women. Whether the surgery was planned, unplanned, or an actual emergency, there are books available to help readers learn about the reasons why cesareans


happen, the process of the actual UNASSISTED BIRTH surgery, the risks and potential complications, and the healing process. Some women choose to give birth at home without the assistance of The Essential C-Section Guide a medical caregiver. Whether due Maureen Connolly, Dana Sullivan to an innate sense of trust in their own bodies or a strong distrust of the Homebirth Cesarean medical establishment, or whether Courtney Key Jarecki, it’s due to one of a myriad of other Laurie Perron Mednick reasons, unassisted birth—sometimes called freebirth—is a valid choice for Strategies for the C-Section Mom some. While we don’t necessarily Mary Beth Knight recommend unassisted birth, women who are interested will benefit VBAC from reading one or more books that focus specifically on it. Having had one cesarean birth (or more) does not necessarily mean that all future births must be surgical as well. But vaginal birth after cesarean—VBAC—is still surrounded by myths and fear for many. These books will help mamas sort facts from fiction, find a truly supportive caregiver, and make informed decisions about their VBAC. Birthing Normally After a Cesarean or Two Hélène Vadeboncoeur Natural Childbirth After Cesarean Karis Crawford, Johanne Walters The VBAC Companion Diana Korte


The Unassisted Baby Anita Evensen Unassisted Childbirth Laura Kaplan Shanley Unhindered Childbirth Sarah M. Haydock AGES AND CIRCUMSTANCES What differences are there during pregnancy for a 25-year-old versus for a 35-year-old? Age can indeed make a difference, but there are plenty of resources out there to help. What if you are diabetic before becoming pregnant, or develop gestational diabetes? What about more common problems like pelvic floor issues or swelling? What about those who are having trouble conceiving in the first place? The books on this list provide extra information and support for women who fall into certain age categories, who are high risk, or who have (or develop) a certain physical condition.

The Everything Guide to Pregnancy Over 35 Brette McWhorter Sember High-Risk Pregnancy: Why Me? Kelly Whitehead How to Conceive Naturally and Have a Healthy Pregnancy After 30 Christa Orecchio, Willow Buckley The Pregnancy and Postpartum Anxiety Workbook Pamela Wiegartz, Kevin Gyoerkoe Real Food for Gestational Diabetes Lily Nichols

Balancing Pregnancy with Pre-Existing Diabetes Cheryl Alkon Diabetes & Pregnancy David A. Sacks


Pregnancy Blues Shaila Kulkarni Misri Survivor Moms Mickey Sperlich Taking Charge of Your Fertility Toni Weschler When Survivors Give Birth Penny Simkin, Phyllis Klaus Your Best Pregnancy: The Ultimate Guide to Easing the Aches, Pains, and Uncomfortable Side Effects During Each Stage of Your Pregnancy Jill Hoefs, Denise Jagroo

Your Healthy Pregnancy with Thyroid Disease Dana Trentini, Mary Shomon NUTRITION Everyone can agree that a healthy diet is of utmost importance during pregnancy! But what foods should a pregnant mama be eating (and avoiding)? While most pregnancy books have at least one chapter addressing healthy food choices, many women want more information, especially if they follow a special diet such as paleolithic or vegetarianism. Our list includes nutrition guides that are both general and specific, as well as plenty of cookbooks to help mamas who want or need help making healthful, nourishing meals. The 100 Healthiest Foods to Eat During Pregnancy Jonny Bowden, Allison Tannis Beautiful Babies Kristen Michaelis Eating Expectantly Bridget Swinney The Everything Paleo Pregnancy Book Tarah Chieffi The Everything Pregnancy Nutrition Book Kimberly A. Tessmer


The Everything Vegan Pregnancy Book Reed Mangels Full Belly: Good Eats for a Healthy Pregnancy Tara Mataraza Desmond, Shirley Fan Healthy Eating During Pregnancy Erika Lenkert Healthy Eating for Pregnancy Mitchell Beazley Healthy, Happy Pregnancy Cookbook Stephanie Clarke, Willow Jarosh Natural Pregnancy Cookbook Sonali Ruder

The Vegetarian Mother’s Cookbook Cathe Olson Your Vegetarian Pregnancy Holly Roberts What to Eat When You’re Pregnant Nicole M. Avena NATURAL REMEDIES The care of a medical professional is important throughout pregnancy, but many common discomforts that can be safely and effectively treated at home. Heart burn, achy backs, nausea, and more can be alleviated through appropriate use of foods, herbs, or essential oils, and these books offer sound advice for how to utilize these remedies. Aromatherapy and Herbal Remedies for Pregnancy, Birth, and Breastfeeding Demetria Clark The Complete Organic Pregnancy Deirdre Dolan, Alexandra Zissu The Field Guide to Pregnancy Caylie See Homeopathy for Pregnancy, Birth, and Your Baby’s First Year Miranda Castro


Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year Susan Weed FITNESS While most doctors agree that a certain amount of exercise is beneficial during pregnancy, there is still a lot of disagreement about what kinds are safe and how much is recommended. Some think that pregnancy-friendly activities are limited to yoga, walking, and swimming, but the truth is that a wide variety of activities can indeed be safe and beneficial for an expecting mama! Learn the facts and get some ideas for staying fit in these books. Exercising Through Your Pregnancy James Clapp, Catherine Cram Fit and Healthy Pregnancy Kristina Pinto, Rachel Cramer How to Exercise When You’re Expecting Lindsay Brin Maternal Fitness Julie Tupler The Pilates Pregnancy Mari Winsor, Mark Laska


Pilates Pregnancy Guide Lynne Robinson, Jacqueline Knox Pilates Workbook for Pregnancy Michael King, Yolande Green Pregnancy Health Yoga Tara Lee, Mary Attwood The Pregnant Athlete Brandi Dion, Steven Dion Pregnant, Fit, and Fabulous Mary Bacon

Runner’s World Guide to Running & Pregnancy Chris Lundgren CHILDBIRTH EDUCATION All women benefit from a good childbirth education course. While a book can never replace the personalized information and sense of community offered by a class, there are plenty of books out there that can offer supplementary ideas and information. The more “tools” a woman has to deal with the discomforts of labor, the better!

Better Birth Denise Spatafora Birthing From Within Pam England, Rob Horowitz DreamBirth Catherine Shainberg Husband-Coached Childbirth Robert Bradley, Marjie Hathaway, Jay Hathaway, James Hathaway Hypnobirthing: The Mongan Method Marie F. Mongan Mind Over Labor Carl Jones Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way Susan McCutcheon BIRTH STORIES Many women find great comfort in reading the positive birth stories of others. They can be found on personal blogs and websites, but there are also entire books devoted to birth stories. Adventures in Natural Birth Janet Schwegel The Birth Next Door Shannon Blackwell


Don’t Cut Me Again! True Stories About Vaginal Birth After Cesarean Angela Hoy


Real Birth Robin Greene

Pregnancy is a time of physical focus, as a woman’s body is undergoing dramatic changes while nourishing the life inside. But pregnancy can be a spiritual time as well, and many women enjoy exploring different mindfulness practices as a way of connecting with their bodies and their baby. These books offer ideas for journaling, meditation, and more.

Spontaneous Joyful Natural Birth Natasha Panzer

Bountiful, Beautiful, Blissful Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa

Labor Day Eleanor Henderson, Anna Soloman Natural Birth Stories Shannon Brown


Calm Birth Robert Bruce Newman Expecting You: A Keepsake Pregnancy Journal Amelia Riedler Magical Beginnings, Enchanted Lives, Deepak Chopra Mindful Birthing Nancy Bardacke

The Mindful Mom-to-Be Lori Bregman Mindful Motherhood Cassandra Vieten The Mindful Way Through Pregnancy Susan Piver Sacred Pregnancy: A Loving Guide and Journal for Expectant Moms Anni Daulter Yoga Mama, Yoga Baby Margo Shapiro Bachman DADS AND PARTNERS During pregnancy, the focus is rightfully on mom. But fathers and partners needn’t feel left out! There are books just for them. Whether they need help understanding the process of pregnancy and birth, want information so they can assist with informed decision making, or are looking for ideas to support a woman through labor, these books can help. The Birth Partner Penny Simkin Fathering Right from the Start Jack Heinowitz Pregnancy for Dads Joe Kelly



It’s Your Pregnancy, You’re in Charge by Dr. Jen Schwartz. PhD, CFLE

For many women, giving birth is one of the most empowering things they will ever experience. Growing and birthing a human being is both common and so very personal. In the moments of going beyond what we knew we were capable of, and pushing our babies out into the world, we can feel a sense of power and euphoria that we never knew was possible.

tle or nothing to do with the health and safety of mother and baby. So where should a mother draw the line between following advice and following her instincts? Cristen Pascucci drew this line in a brilliant way when she wrote the words “You’re not allowed to not allow me,” (2014). In this blog post Pascucci discusses the language that is often used with pregnant women that not only disempowers them, but at times puts them at risk for complications. Here are a few common examples, as well as some information that may be useful if you are facing these challenges with a care provider.

However, long before those moments, the majority of women have already been given the message that they are not truly in charge. After all, there are hospital protocols, doctor’s policies, and of course a million pieces of advice as to what women should and shouldn’t do while pregnant or giving birth. Some •“You won’t be allowed to eat or of these policies are in place for drink during labor.” This is a very comgood reasons, while others have lit- mon hospital policy, despite the fact NATURAL MOTHER MAGAZINE | 47

that it is outdated and bad advice. The logic behind this idea is that if a woman needed to be put under general anesthesia for a true emergency, there is a danger of her aspirating while sedated. However, the majority of surgical births do not constitute true emergencies and women are given epidurals rather than being completely sedated. Even The American Society of Anesthesiologists (November 2015) has agreed that women should be allowed to eat during labor. Furthermore, we can think about the context in two ways. First, a laboring woman NEEDS energy! Taking away her right to fuel her body, while it is working so hard, is simply absurd. And second, what are the situations in which we give others control over when we can and cannot eat or drink? By telling a pregnant woman that she is not allowed to eat during labor, we are unnecessarily taking away a basic need. Unless you are preparing for surgery under general anesthesia, no one has the right to take that right away from you. •“We don’t let moms go past 40 weeks (or 41, or 40.2, etc.).” If you hear something like this from your care provider, run. If you can, find a new care provider. If you cannot, be prepared to stay as far away from them as possible until you go into labor. My personal translation of this 48| NATURAL MOTHER MAGAZINE

statement is this: “If you are pregnant too long, I am going to force you to give birth, whether or not your baby is ready to be born.” Your baby will let you be pregnant for as long as he/she needs you to be. Having a non-stress test can help reassure you that all is well if you do not give birth before 41 weeks, but as long as baby is healthy there is no definitive medical evidence to support induction or C-section before 42 weeks gestation.* Unless there is a real medical reason, your doctor should not be deciding when you give birth. If you are working with a practice with a hard deadline before 42 weeks, it may be time to look elsewhere. •“We don’t do VBAC’s.” Translation: we will not allow you to give birth the way you choose, even if it is certain that you can safely do so. Sometimes, this is a doctor’s policy, but often it is hospital policy. In fact, 40% of US hospitals have banned VBAC’s, despite the research showing that most women are capable to safely give birth vaginally even after one or two Cesarean births. If you are committed to a vaginal birth, you may have to work harder to find care providers who will support this decision. Know that they are out there, and also know this: no one can force you to have unwanted surgery. Your consent is mandatory, unless you are unconscious and unable to give

consent. You CAN find a doctor or to navigate the passages of mothmidwife who will help you achieve ering. The most important thing is the birth you choose. to remember this: YOU are the one who is pregnant. YOU are the one •“We’re required to ___.” This is often who must take responsibility for yourfollowed with hospital protocol such self and your baby. NO ONE has the as “perform constant fetal monitor- right to do anything to you or your ing,” or “give you an IV,” or even baby without your consent. Follow “shave your pubic hair.” Yes, this last medical advice when it is necessary, one STILL happens in a few places and when it supports you. Do your in the US and other countries. These research. Feel free to walk away kinds of “innocent” interventions can and get a second opinion, or get a be harder to navigate, especially new care provider. And most of all, when you are in labor. That is why it remember: No one is allowed to not is critical to ask detailed questions allow you, without your permission. when interviewing care providers or visiting hospitals. No one wants to *There is some medical evidence spend her birthing day arguing with that supports induction at 41 weeks, nurses. If you find yourself in a situa- however there is also research that tion in which you feel a non-neces- shows it is unnecessary before 42 sary intervention is being forced on weeks. you, use these magic words: “I do not consent to X. Please bring me any American Society of Anesthesiolonecessary forms to sign.” You could gists (November 2015). Most healthy even have your partner do that part women would benefit from a light for you: “She does not consent…” In meal during labor. https://www. some cases, you will be asked to sign forms that state that you are going news-releases/2015/10/eating-aAgainst Medical Advice (AMA) by light-meal-during-labor not allowing a nurse to give you an IV, for example. In other cases, it’s Pascucci, C. (April 2014). VBAC bans: fun to see just how quickly the “re- the insanity of mandatory surgery. quired” becomes recommended. bans/ There are many other instances of women being told they are “not Pascucci, C (June 2014). You’re not allowed” to do things during preg- allowed to not allow me. http://birthnancy and birth. It can feel hard NATURAL MOTHER MAGAZINE | 49






photo credit | Shelby Clowers



photo credit | Shelby Clowers



photo credit | Shelby Clowers



photo credit | Shelby Clowers



photo credit | Shelby Clowers



photo credit | Shelby Clowers



photo credit | Shelby Clowers


photo credit | Shelby Clowers




Pouch Dinners Fancy French or Rugged Hobo fast, easy, healthy meals |by Amy Christensen Time is at a premium for new moms. Getting dinner on the table is sometimes the last thing you want to think of, especially when you’re not sure when you’ll have time for some of the other basics (like sleep and showers). Often, family and friends will bring in dinner. But even if they do, that soon will end. Whether you go the fancy French route with En papillote, or for the more rugged and outdoor foil Hobo Dinners, making dinner in packets can be fast, easy, healthy, and satisfy everyone in your family! Both kinds of dinners can be baked in your oven, and you can take them outside on the grill or the fire pit by using foil (instead of the parchment paper used for En papillote).

They are forgiving and easily customizable. Remember to include seasonings, a little fat (olive oil or butter), and a bit of liquid (wine or broth), and you can have a complete meal with any vegetables and proteins you like. Keep in mind that dense, hard vegetables will take longer to cook (like winter squash and potatoes), so try to use only vegetables that cook at the same rate in a single meal. For example, the potatoes and carrots in the Cajun meal, and the zucchini and asparagus in the En papillote. You can also get little ones involved and have them put their packets together.


Cajun Hobo Dinner Serves 4

4 corn on the cob, each cut into 3 or 4 pieces 16 fingerling potatoes, quartered lengthwise 2 carrots, peeled and cut into sticks 1 small onion, halved and sliced 24 uncooked shrimp (31/40) 2 sausages, cooked and cut into 1-inch slices (Andouille or hot Italian) 4 tablespoons unsalted butter 4 tablespoons white wine (or chicken broth) Cajun seasoning*, to taste sea salt, to taste pepper, to taste aluminum foil Preheat oven or grill to 400°F. Evenly distribute the vegetables, shrimp, and sausage between 4 pieces of foil. (Or distribute based on taste and favorites.) Place one tablespoon of butter on top of each packet. Pour one tablespoon of wine (or broth) into each packet.

Fold up the sides of the packet until tightly sealed. If using regular aluminum foil on the grill (instead of heavy duty aluminum foil), wrap the packet in a second piece of aluminum foil. Repeat with remaining packets. Grill or bake for 30-45 minutes, flipping over or onto the side half-way through the cooking time. Be careful opening packets, as the steam inside is very hot. *MAKE YOUR OWN CAJUN SEASONING!

Cajun Seasoning 1 teaspoon sea salt 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground pepper 1 teaspoon garlic powder 1 teaspoon onion powder 2 teaspoon smoked paprika 1/2 teaspoon cayenne* 1 teaspoon dried oregano 1 teaspoon dried thyme 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes*

Stir together all of the seasonings Sprinkle and season each packet until well blended. Store in an airgenerously with Cajun seasoning, tight container. salt, and pepper. *If you like a spicier seasoning, add Pull up 2 sides of foil over the con- more cayenne and red pepper tents until they meet, and then fold flakes. together a few times until sealed. 70| NATURAL MOTHER MAGAZINE

Herbed Chicken and Vegetables in Parchment-

herbs of choice Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

4 pieces parchment paper, about 16x24 inches each 1 zucchini, cut into 1 ½-inch pieces 1 yellow squash, cut into 1 ½-inch pieces 24 asparagus spears, ends trimmed 2 medium chicken breasts, pounded to even thickness 1 lemon sliced in thin rounds 1 shallot, chopped finely 4 tablespoons white wine 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 3 tablespoons chopped fresh

Fold each piece of parchment in half and cut into a half-heart as if you were making a valentine. Divide the vegetables between each piece of parchment.

Serves 4

Place a chicken breast over the vegetables, place a few slices of lemons on top and sprinkle each package with shallots, herbs, salt, pepper, ½ tablespoon of butter and about 1 tablespoon wine.



Refold the paper over the chicken so that the cut edges meet. Starting from the round side of the parchment, fold a short length of the paper edges together and then fold again. Hold this section down as you fold the next section partly over it to strengthen the seal. Continue folding until the cut edges are completely sealed. Twist the very end to complete the seal. At this point, the packet can be refrigerated for several hours before baking.

a baking sheet and bake in a preheated 450°F oven for 10-15 minutes-until puffed and brown (and chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.) Transfer to a plate and serve in parchment. MAKE IT VEGAN: Substitute the chicken breast with Portobello mushrooms and substitute the butter with extra virgin olive oil.

MAKE IT WITH SALMON: Substitute the chicken breast for salmon fillets and Transfer the parchment packages to reduce baking time to 8-12 minutes.

Organic Nutrition For Mom And Baby It’s obvious why mykind Organics Prenatal Once Daily is the right choice for you. When parents compare labels, they see that mykind Organics is made from only real, Certified USDA Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified foods. Why would you give your baby anything else?



Project I FI E D




Researchers Induced Autoimmune Disease in Mice with the Whooping Cough Vaccine HERE’S WHY THIS MATTERS DURING YOUR PREGNANCY | by Guggie Daly

Did your doctor mention this at your leased guidelines instructing that prenatal visit? every pregnant woman must receive the whooping cough vaccine It’s quite a doozy. In 2012, research- during every pregnancy, no matter ers happily report that they were when she had the last vaccine. Here successful in using the Tetanus tox- is their official guideline: oid portion of the whopping cough vaccine to trigger an autoimmune “Health-care personnel should addisease called Anti-phospholipid minister a dose of Tdap during each Syndrome (APS) in mice who did pregnancy irrespective of the panot have the hereditary predisposi- tient’s prior history of receiving tion towards it. Which is to say, they Tdap.“ injected the whooping cough vaccine into healthy mice and were successful at causing an autoim- Why is APS developing after vaccimune disease. The word successful is nation? in their medical study. The vaccine companies are using As you likely know, the Centers for phospholipids, which is supposed Disease Control (CDC) recently re- to be a selling point since now they NATURAL MOTHER MAGAZINE | 75

are more like our bodies than ever before! But, for those who are familiar with autoimmune diseases, you can see the trouble with that line of thinking. These phospholipid ingredients along with a healthy dosage of Tetanus bacteria toxoid and then the aluminum adjuvant all create a strong immune response in the body which can lead to the development of APS.

Now that the CDC is recommending the TDAP vaccine during every pregnancy no matter the timing between pregnancies and no matter the number of pregnancies, it’s easy to see how some women might be hyperimmunized and quickly develop an autoimmune disease.

Put simply, phospholipids are building blocks for every cell in your body and have many different tasks such as helping with cell signaling in the brain. So, developing an autoimmune disease that attacks them is pretty serious.

APS, also known as Hughes Syndrome and often mistaken for Lupus or diagnosed alongside Lupus, is a serious autoimmune disease because it damages every part of your body. During pregnancy, this is a danger to your baby primarily because it can trigger miscarriage, stillbirths, and preterm birth. APS causes clotting complications, so the placenta and umbilical cord are at risk of being severely damaged resulting in fetal injury and death. Indirect complications frequently arise with undiagnosed and untreated APS, such as stroke (in the mother and baby), hypertension, pre-eclampsia, clots in the brain, lungs, and legs, heart problems, migraines, vision loss, IUGR and preterm birth. Data is scarce, but limited medical studies also show a slight increase in learning disorders and behavioral disorders in children born to moms who are APS positive.

Vaccine companies who manufacture the newer vaccines using recombinant DNA technology create a change in the outer membrane vesicles (OMV) of bacteria. Again, the selling point is that this makes it very similar to us. When your immune system is so strongly triggered that it switches to an autoimmune mode and starts to attack itself, however, the selling point turns out to be a weak point.

Why does APS matter during pregnancy?

With the previous recommendation for adults to get this vaccine every 10 years, or even every 5 years, exposure might have been so infrequent that APS didn’t become an issue. For example, a study published in 76| NATURAL MOTHER MAGAZINE is a parent-driven campaign, funded by Council for Vaccine Safety, that educates the public on vaccine risks and advocates for health freedom. Vaccine mandates are here with more on the way. Please join the movement moveme by donating your voice, time or a financial contribution here: To help increase our reach, become a monthly sponsor: Get in touch if you want to become a local volunteer for your area.



the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases concluded that, “The presence of neurodevelopmental abnormalities seems to be more important in these children, and could justify long-term follow-up.”

sjogren’s. Having suffered from an infection such as lyme, syphilis, or hepatitis C Becoming pregnant Being sedentary Experiencing surgery Using oral contraceptives APS often goes undiagnosed until a Smoking woman has experienced repeated pregnancy complications including What signs should you look for? recurrent pregnancy losses. Even then, other factors such as MTHFR, If you’ve been vaccinated with any thyroid conditions, and heart dis- vaccines using the new phospholipease might distract from diagnos- id technology or if you have any othing APS. These comorbid conditions er risk factors for APS, it’s important often show up alongside APS and to pay attention to symptoms. APS even create additional connected commonly causes blood clotting complications such as nutritional de- problems, so that’s the first major sign ficiencies and distracting symptoms. to pay attention to, but many other issues can be chronic or slow to Untreated APS has a high pregnan- develop. According to the National cy loss rate. It is considered the most Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, you common cause of pregnancy loss, should watch for: but also the most treatable. With treatment, the chance of reaching Chest pain, shortness of breath birth rises from about 20% to 80%. Pain, redness, swelling in the limbs Ongoing headaches What are your risk factors? Speech changes Stroke So, how can you weigh the risks ver- Heart attack sus benefits of the whooping cough Leg clots vaccine during pregnancy? Risk fac- Miscarriages, stillbirths tors for APS include these, according Pre-eclampsia to Mayoclinic. Pregnancy induced hypertension (PIH) Being a female Bleeding and bruising Having experienced another autoimmune condition such as lupus or If you have consented to receive the 78| NATURAL MOTHER MAGAZINE

newer vaccines during pregnancy or have any other risk factors and have noticed symptoms, act quickly! Antibodies during pregnancy can cause severe damage to the placenta, umbilical cord, and fetus, threatening your pregnancy. The sooner you receive a diagnosis and start treatment, the better the potential outcome for your baby. With APS considered the most treatable cause for pregnancy loss, raising awareness and spreading the word to all women is what will help to prevent injuries and deaths. This is also true for the mothers, since bleeding and hypertension are two leading causes of maternal deaths after birth in our country. And pre-eclampsia and HELLP syndrome are also a leading cause during pregnancy. All of these complications are related to APS and autoimmune disease in general. Spread the word! Ask your doctor for the actual vaccine pamphlet at your prenatal visit to verify which brand of vaccine you are consenting to, and to make sure you are aware of all the risks and benefits that might or might not apply to you and your baby. Encourage the women around you to know the signs of blood and heart disorders so they can promptly seek treatment. Together we can work to stop the rapidly increasing maternal deaths and pregnancy losses in our country. NATURAL MOTHER MAGAZINE | 79


Mama Craft:


to Track Baby’s Growth by Dana Vanderburg

Supplies Needed: • Smooth stones • Acrylic paint • Paint brush • Sponges • Number stickers • Letter stickers (optional) • Mod Podge (optional)

dry them. We opted for smooth, flat stones. 2. Choose a few complementary colors to paint your stones. Then, paint your stones in these colors. 3. Once your first coat of paint has

In honor of our annual pregnancy and birth issue, we’re sharing a fun way to celebrate the weekly and monthly milestones of pregnancy and baby. With a few simple supplies, you can create a one-of-a-kind way to track and remember your baby’s growth. 1. Gather your stones, wash, and


dried, squeeze your selected colors onto your sponge. You could use a sponge dabber, a natural sea sponge, or even cut up a clean kitchen sponge to use.

6. Once your stones have dried, it’s time to add the number stickers. 7. Next, it’s time to create your “weeks” stone or “months” stone. We decided to create one of each. We

also used one of our larger stones to spell out baby’s name to make our mileSTONES even more personalized. 8. Coat your completed stones in Mod Podge, if desired. 4. Dab your sponge all around the top and sides of your stone. You could also paint the underside once the top and sides of your stone has dried. 5. Repeat the process for each stone. We chose a different color combination for each stone to add variety.


9. Once your stones are complete, it’s time to use them to track your baby’s growth! You could hold the stones in front of your pregnant belly during photo sessions to easily track your weekly or monthly growth. Then, once baby arrives, you can place them beside baby to show baby’s weekly or monthly growth.



Septmber 2016  
Septmber 2016